‘Mentally strong’ is a term thrown around fast + loose with no real set criterion. But according to psychotherapist and best-selling author, Amy Morin, there’s an essentialist approach to discerning who has a fortified mindset and who… doesn’t.
Here are five key habits that mentally strong people (apparently) don’t engage in.
The mentally strong don’t allow themselves to be caught in the hamster wheel of endless analysis. They evaluate their options and take action. Individuals who have their shit together acknowledge their choices won’t always be perfect and refuse to dwell on issues out of their control. Instead, they derive confidence from knowing there’s a good chance they’ll come out of the other side relatively unscathed – and don’t think the worst of a situation until it’s been 100% confirmed.
Feeling sorry for themselves
There’s a fine line between accepting responsibility and promoting internal toxicity through self-blame. The mentally strong know overly harsh self-criticism is not a productive behaviour and divert their energy towards improving upon the area(s) of weakness instead.
Worrying about what others think
Judgement is something else that the mentally strong are fairly impervious to. And similar to the previous point, it’s all thanks to the confidence they derive from knowing at the end of the day, they’ll be just fine. These individuals are secure about their identity and priorities, choosing to divert their energy towards what’s truly important and what feeds their happiness as an alternative to people-pleasing.
Complaining to people who cannot help
Wallowing in self-pity and soliciting empathy/sympathy from wherever you can get it as a means of reassurance is a common temptation. And contrary to popular belief, a 2007 study found that venting isn’t actually beneficial to your mental state. Turns out, it exacerbates feelings of anger and frustration. On-trend with everything else outlined in this article, the mentally strong remedy issues in a direct manner with people who have the power to action meaningful change.
Dwelling in the past & focusing on counterfactuals
Once again, this all comes down to a matter of using time productively and allocating the appropriate amount of emotional resources. Regular folk tend to think about what was and what could have been, whereas the mentally strong focus on managing their emotions and actioning more proactivity. If they cannot change the situation, they accept the obstacle as something beyond their control, make the most out of what they have, and begin strategising ways to circumnavigate said obstacles. If there’s one key lesson to take away from this, it’s that the only way is forward.